1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878
Lot 68
1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster
€ 160,000 - 190,000
US$ 190,000 - 220,000

Amended
Lot Details
1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878 1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster   Chassis no. BN2-L/232878
1956 Austin-Healey 100M 'Le Mans' Roadster
Chassis no. BN2-L/232878
•One of only 640 factory-built 100Ms
•Original left-hand drive car
•Overdrive transmission
•Restored by JME Healeys circa 1992
•Present ownership for 18 years

Following the Austin-Healey 100's sensational debut at the 1952 Motor Show, the works had entered two mildly modified cars in the 1953 Le Mans 24-Hour Race, which finishing in 12th and 14th places, a highly praiseworthy achievement for what were recognisably production sports cars. Accordingly, the name 'Le Mans' was chosen for a bolt-on tuning kit offered through Austin-Healey dealers, by means of which private owners could bring their cars up to a specification approaching that of the works entries. The kit included a pair of 1¾" SU HD6 carburettors plus special inlet manifold and cold air box, high-lift camshaft, stronger valve springs and distributor with alternative ignition advance curve. With the kit installed power increased from the standard 90 to 100bhp.

From October 1955 the conversion was available factory-fitted on the successor BN2 model in the form of the 100M. In addition to the Le Mans kit, the latter boasted high-compression pistons, stiffer front anti-roll bar, special Armstrong front dampers and a louvred bonnet. Power increased to 110bhp and top speed, with windscreen folded flat, to within a whisker of 120mph. The number of BN1s converted by their owners is unknown, but 1,159 cars, mostly BN2s, were built or subsequently modified to 100M specification between 1955 and 1956. Of these, approximately 640 were completed at the factory, some 544 of which were exported to the USA.

This example, chassis number 'BN2-L/229932', is a desirable factory-built 100M, which was completed on 31st May 1956 and shipped to Iceland. The latter may seem an unlikely destination for an Austin-Healey, but it should be remembered that the USA maintained a military base on the island from WW2 until 2006. Most likely it was ordered by an American serviceman and taken back to the USA when his posting came to an end. Whatever the case, the Healey later went to the United States' East Coast. The car was delivered finished in Ivory White over black with black interior trim, and left the factory equipped with a heater, laminated windscreen, and louvred bonnet.

In 1988 the Healey was exported from the USA to Switzerland, and in 1992 the then owner commissioned the UK-based marque specialists, JME Healeys to carry out a ground-upwards restoration. The rebuild is reputed to have cost approximately £46,000, though there are no bills available. In 1998 the Healey was sold to German resident, Peter Groh, who resold the car a couple of months later to the present (German) owner's family, since when it has covered some 17,000 kilometres.

Recent works, carried out in 2016, include a full overhaul of the carburettors, a partial repaint, cleaning and rust-proofing the under-body, overhauling the brakes, and renewing the anti-roll bar bushes. Noteworthy upgrades include alternator electrics, halogen headlamps, and a Moto-Lita steering wheel. We are advised that the engine runs very smoothly, the gearbox shifts precisely, the overdrive is working, and that the car drives exceptionally well. The bodywork has been very well maintained, and the interior is in a patinated but well-preserved condition. A set of side screens, matching the soft-top, is included in the sale.

The accompanying history file contains a reproduction Austin-Healey 100 handbook, digital photograph file, BMIHT Certificate, 100M Register Certificate, recent maintenance bills, German Fahrzeugbrief and TüV. A rare opportunity to acquire one of these much sought-after Austin-Healey 'Le Mans' models.

Saleroom notices

  • Model History: For clarity regarding the Model range. The number of BN1s converted by their owners is unknown, but 1,159 cars, mostly BN2s, were built or subsequently modified to 100M specification between 1955 and 1956. Of these, approximately 640 were completed at the factory, some 544 of which were exported to the USA. Strictly speaking, the other 519 cars converted to Le Mans specification are properly called 'Le Mans Conversions' by Donald Healey, not 100Ms.
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